Day 2 at the 2012 Energy Star Products Partner Meeting was even better than the first—although our resident lighting expert, Ira Krepchin, may disagree—because we left lighting topics and went into appliances and electronics. I must admit, appliance and consumer electronic efficiency strums a sweet tune to my nerdy brain, and I enjoyed diving into the details during today’s sessions.
The beauty of this conference is getting to flex both the engineering and business sides of my brain. Engineers can get lost in the details sometimes (okay, maybe all of the time, but somewhere in between is good, right?), but it’s important for every engineer to remember that on the backside of every design improvement, someone must sell that improvement to someone who wants that improvement. It appears so easy and straightforward to technically minded people; simply put, it makes sense. But unfortunately, humans are not rational creatures and don’t always choose correctly.
So today we talked about the many paths for getting efficient products into customers’ homes. Energy Star has a solid program that’s 20 years strong, but that’s not without 20 years of hard work, creative thinking, and a few lessons learned along the way. I learned a lot today and left with even more to think about. Here are three of the more important impressions I took away.
Retailers want to help utilities. Granted, it’s not as easy as a handshake, but retailers want to work with utilities to promote their programs and efficient products. Christa Osswald of Lowe’s went so far as to urge utilities to “use us (retailers).” After all, retailers have the goods utilities want inside customer homes and they’re customer segmentation experts. Utilities and retailers have plenty of natural synergies, so perhaps it’s time both figure out—ideally together—how to put those partnerships to use.
Read the full blog entry by Lee Hamilton, Senior Research Associate, E Source